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Congratulations to the finalists of the 2016 BAI Global Banking Innovation Awards for Most Innovative Community-Based Banking Organization.

These finalists have either created products, made investments and delivered services to meet their community’s most pressing needs. They also have a culture of creativity which includes an innovation framework or processes that are supported by all levels of leadership. Finalists listed in alphabetical order include:

America First Credit Union

America First Credit Union has long had a culture of innovation focused around providing members with the best banking experience possible. America First has been a leader in online banking since the early 90s and has offered a form of mobile banking since 2001. Each new development is primarily judged by how it benefits the member and their ability to manage their finances. By examining new ideas in this manner, the culture of the organization is free to think outside of the concept of simply dollars and cents.

One product highlighting AFCU’s commitment to innovation is America First Card Gard®. The mobile app empowers members to control when, where, and how their cards are used – all through their smartphone.

CBW Bank

With the purchase of CBW Bank in 2009, Suresh Ramamurthi and his team embarked on an initiative to transform the stagnant and highly-regulated payments industry. Rather than start a non-bank company with fewer regulatory requirements, Ramamurthi and his team chose to work within the bank system, proving that even small-town banks can provide innovative services.

Unlike other fintech companies, Ramamurthi’s team went beyond superficial improvements and instead built a new account structure that embraces compliance as a core feature which enables it to focus on delivering new, innovative products, without taking on inordinate risks or increasing exposure to fraudulent transactions. CBW can now send instant payments because the risk aspect was addressed at the outset, creating endless opportunities to deliver new payment products to the market.


WSFS Bank firmly believes when you have a culture that not only encourages innovation, but embraces it, there is no limit to the success and creativity that abounds. WSFS Bank optimizes and innovates across the organization as a whole for increased synergy, efficiency, revenue and market share. Innovating for streamlined processes, automation, enhanced interfaces, seamless customer experiences, new products and revenue streams and other game-changing events is a responsibility of all departments of the company, and in turn infuses excitement and energy throughout. WSFS Bank embraces innovation as a catalyst for growth and advancement forward.